Spring Moods – Sad Love Story

Spring Moods is a punk band from Forli, Italy. In october of 2017 they released their album titled “Sad Love Story.” The album is full of fast, loud, and catchy punk rock songs from beginning to end. In old school punk rock fashion the songs are all short and straight to the point. The longest song on the album is the closing song “Super High” which runs 2:09.
After listening to this album a handful of times over the last week the one thing that stands out is a small bit of confusion in the translation into English. It is noticeable in a couple songs, but all in all it was done well enough to get the idea of what the song is saying. Once you get past that one aspect, the band is very tight as far as the music side. The vocals are very fitting as far as meshing well with the instruments. The lyrics tell the struggles of a love gone wrong.
There were a few songs on the album stuck out to me over the rest. One of those songs being track #3 “The Last Beer,” which is a song about drinking away the hurt. I love the opening line “It’s always the last beer,” how true that is. Then comes track #5, “Star Wars Love Story.” This is a song about not being able to be with someone who has never seen Star Wars. The whole idea of the song reminds me of a song by The Hextalls called “Ramones T-shirt.”
Track #6 is one that I think anyone who has ever had a horrible relationship/breakup can relate to, titled “Good Morning Vietnam- Episode III.” Made me laugh a bit when in the middle of the song a clip from a speech by President Trump appeared. Do you think the Italian punk rockers are making fun of our president? Join the club I guess. No complaints from this side.
All in all I thought that Spring Moods put out a well recorded and fun album that a punk rock fan will enjoy. It is worth a listen at least, and form your own opinion. Show some love and grab a copy of “Sad Love Story” by Spring Moods and keep your ears open for more from this band. I think it is safe to say their will be more on the horizon.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/springmoods/

Bandcamp- https://springmoods.bandcamp.com/

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Harnessing The Sun – RA HONEY

Harnessing the Sun are at it again, and making some more of that sweet musical noise with their second album “Ra Honey.” Since their first album released their was a slight changeover in the bass player position. With this new bass player comes a new sound and feel from the band. One thing that did remain constant was the lyrical side of it all, with the songs on this new album having a very familiar flow, just backed by a bit more punk rock influenced sound compared to the hard rock/folk sound of their debut album.
Right from the first track titled “No Way,” you hear the thundering and more upbeat sound right out the gates. The drumming is harder, the pace is quicker, and it all sounds so much more in accordance with one another. Almost as if the line up is more comfortable and on the same page. The second track “Outer Bound” is a bit of a different feel from the band as Doug steps back from lead vocals, and bass player Kelly steps in. It is definitely a new aspect and in my opinion a stand out track on the album because it catches you off guard, in a good way. It is a step out of the norm for the guys and I love a band taking a gamble like that, gives a sense of fun and adventure to a record.
All around the album carries a very Bad Religion influenced sound. The Bad Religion influence is highlighted with the closing track from the album, a cover of Bad Religion’s “Evangeline.” In my opinion Harnessing the Sun did a great job covering the song. They played it in true form of something they would have written.
Be sure to grab a copy of “Ra Honey” by contacting the band through their facebook page or come out to a live show and get the benefit of seeing these guys live performance as well before you buy some merchandise and help support the music. All in all this is a great album from a good group of guys who truly love what they are doing up there on that stage and in the recording studio.

https://www.facebook.com/harnessingthesun/

The Forty Nineteens – “Good Fortune”

In September of 2017 The Forty Nineteens, a rock band from California, released their latest effort, “Good Fortune.” This is a band that has caught my attention in the past with their catchy feel good tunes. They definitely embody the idea of a fun California rock and roll vibe. Their sound reminds you of the garage rock of days old, think 1970’s garage rock band with a twist of modern music thrown in.
Their most recent album “Good Fortune” is nothing short of a pure rock and roll record. With sounds that remind you of California bands from the past, and mixing in an alternative vibe for good measure. I have to say the song that stuck out to me on the album would be track #4 “My Camaro (Have Some Fun)” which has a strong Beach Boys kind of sound and feel to it. What is more classic California rock than a catchy song about your automobile anyway, am I right?!!
All around “Good Fortune” was exactly what I was hoping to hear from a band that has yet to disappoint me with an album. They are great lyrically and musically, it is hard not to tap your foot and just smile as you listen to the music. Definitely one of my favorite bands I have come across over the past few years. It doesn’t hurt that I have hung out with these guys on a couple occasions, and they are all around great people as well. Do yourself a favor and have a listen to this album, and some of the previous releases from The Forty Nineteens and perhaps find your new favorite band.

The Gunboat Diplomats – I’m Not Going Back to Jacksonville/ Beneath a Solemn Sky

The Gunboat Diplomats are a song shop. The sound of their music varies greatly in as much as styling, vocals, and even instruments. Their first album, “Fine State of Affairs” was a great recording and look into what The Gunboat Diplomats are capable of. They are currently working on their second album, “Manifest Destiny.”
I was lucky enough to be contacted and asked to have a listen to the first two tracks released from this upcoming album, after having reviewed their first album. I was honored they thought of me to and dived right into the tracks with great anticipation to see where they would take the sound.
I walked right into a very refreshing and pleasant sound. It was completely different from what I heard on their first recording. Both songs have much more of a folk/ country western feel to them, while not completely leaving behind the catchy pop fusion. Moving away from the vibe of bands such as Barenaked Ladies on their first outing, this has more of Garth Brooks feel to it.
The first of the two songs is “I’m Not Going Back to Jacksonville.” A song that seems to speak of past regret and remorse. It has a very relaxing and ear catching guitar track, with that all to familiar country twang if you will. It is a well written song and it brought a smile to my face almost immediately.
The second track was “Beneath a Solemn Sky,” and it was a bit more of a dark sounding track. Think perhaps a gospel song with a hint of bluegrass. The lyrics are powerful in themselves, and then amplified with the slow dark soundtrack behind them. This track gave me chills the first time I listened.
These first two tracks definitely have me anxiously awaiting the full release of “Manifest Destiny” by The Gunboat Diplomats. I await with high hopes and hungry earbuds for what should be another musical journey for anyone who truly loves the masterpiece of a musical tale.

Frank G Myers Jr

Kris Rodgers and the Dirty Gems – Headlines

Kris Rodgers and the Dirty gems are a band from Portland, Maine. Have recently been listening to their 2014 album titled “Headlines.” This album had a refreshing sound and definitely has an old school rock and roll feel to it. From the beginning of this album with the opening song and title track “Headlines,” you may think you have accidentally turned your radio to the classic rock station. This band has a sound that is without a doubt inspired by classic rock.

While listening to songs such as track #3 titled “You Don’t Know,” you get the vibe of say an early Billy Joel album. While other songs may put you in the mindset and mood of more of a sound you would hear on a Sweet album or even some of the early Elton John records. This mix of old school sounding songs while still making the song fresh and new really keeps my attention and draws me in. Each track leaves me anxious to hear what else the record holds in store.

Also, the lyrics all written so well they pull you in and add to the feel of the music. Kris’ voice fits so well with the old school rock and roll music that you have to remind yourself this album was recorded and released in the 2014. It is a nice change of pace to hear a band that holds onto the their influences and not copy but rather pay tribute to them by carrying on the sound of their records.

If you are a fan of the classic rock genre and just tired of hearing all of those songs from that era we have all heard a million times before, get yourself a copy of this album and give a good listen. It gives you that classic rock vibe with a new and refreshing twist.

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Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold

Foo Fighters have recently released their ninth studio album “Concrete and Gold.” From the beginning hearing rumors of them working with a pop producer, guest vocals by the likes of Justin Timberlake, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men fame, and Paul Mccartney on drums? I was a tiny bit skeptical to say the least. Then, I thought to myself “I have to give this record a fair chance, because if anyone can pull this off at this point it is Dave Grohl.” So, I went into this album with a hint of skepticism and a slight glimmer of hope.

I will say that this record definitely has a very dark sound to the music and a deep meaning behind the songs and lyrics. That didn’t catch me too off guard, it had a small feeling of listening to their self-titled album in some regards. In some of the songs such as “T-Shirt” and “Run” lies what to me seems to be a bit of a political undertone in the lyrics. All in all, there is not that one song or lyric that catches me and pulls me in to this record. Which I find really disappointing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that is a horrible album, just in my perspective it is not what I want or expect from a Foo Fighters album. I don’t hear or feel the edge or excitement that one grows accustom to on their records. Perhaps it’s my expectations exceeding and expecting way to much at this point, or maybe it is due to the band trying to change pace and direction a bit. Who knows?

All I will say is have a listen and form your own opinion, as you should with any album I review. My final analysis is you don’t have a great record here, and you don’t have a horrible album here. At the end of the day it is merely mediocre, which honestly may be the worst of all three because mediocrity will lead to nobody really remembering the record down the road. We shall wait and see.

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Mid Rats – Never Coming Home

Coming out of Lancaster, PA is a punk band named Mid Rats with their newest release “Never Coming Home.” The album was released in August of this year and packs a very fast, fierce, and direct punch to the face in the sense of music. This album is definitely full of aggression and fun all packed up together, and it clearly comes through in the music and lyrics.

This is not your Ramones-core punk band here, these guys remind me more of acts such as Black Flag or Germs. Listening to this album from beginning to end, every song gives you an adrenaline rush and puts you in a bad-ass mindset of sorts. For sure one of my favorite bands as of late playing this style of punk rock music, I encourage anyone who is looking for more than a catchy chorus line in their punk rock music to give Mid Rats a listen. Grab yourselves a copy of this album and get ready to smash some beers and bang your heads. Or just kick back and enjoy. Either way show some support and spread the music!!

 

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